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In the moments of upheaval that surround the stroke of midnight on August 14—15, 1947, the day India proclaimed its independence from Great Britain, 1,001 children are born—each of whom is gifted with supernatural powers. Midnight’s Children focuses on the fates of two of them—the illegitimate son of a poor Hindu woman and the male heir of a wealthy Muslim family—who become inextricably linked when a midwife switches the boys at birth.
An allegory of modern India, Midnight’s Children is a family saga set against the volatile events of the thirty years following the country’s independence—the partitioning of India and Pakistan, the rule of Indira Gandhi, the onset of violence and war, and the imposition of martial law. It is a magical and haunting tale, of fragmentation and of the struggle for identity and belonging that links personal life with national history.
In collaboration with Simon Reade, Tim Supple and the Royal Shakespeare Society, Salman Rushdie has adapted his masterpiece for the stage.
The Moor evokes his family’s often grotesque but compulsively moving fortunes and the lost world of possibilities embodied by India in this century. His is a tale of premature deaths and family rifts, of thwarted loves and mad passions, of secrecy and greed, of power and money, and of the even more morally dubious seductions and mysteries of art.
Just before dawn one winter’s morning, a hijacked jetliner explodes above the English Channel. Through the falling debris, two men—Gibreel Farishta, the biggest movie star in India, and Saladin Chamcha, an expatriate returning from his first visit to Bombay in fifteen years—plummet from the sky. Washing up on the snow-covered sands of an English beach, they proceed through a series of metamorphoses, dreams and revelations.
The Satanic Verses is a wonderfully erudite study of the evil and good entwined within the hearts of women and men, an epic journey of tears and laughter, served up by a writer at the height of his powers.
Los Angeles, 1991. Maximilian Ophuls, one of the makers of the modern world, is knifed to death in broad daylight on the doorstep of his illegitimate daughter India, slaughtered by his Kashmiri Muslim driver, a mysterious figure who calls himself Shalimar the clown. The dead man is a World War II Resistance hero, a man of formidable intellectual ability and much erotic appeal, a former United States ambassador to India, and subsequently America’s counter-terrorism chief. The murder looks at first like a political assassination but turns out to be passionately personal.
This is the story of Max, his killer, and his daughter—and of a fourth character, the woman who links them, whose revelation finally explains them all. It is a narrative that moves from California to Kashmir, France, and England, and back to California again. Along the way there are tales of princesses lured from their homes by demons, legends of kings forced to defend their kingdoms against evil. There is kindness and there is magic capable of producing miracles, but there is also war—ugly, unavoidable, and seemingly interminable. And there is always love, gained and lost, uncommonly beautiful and mortally dangerous.
This is the story of Haroun, a 12-year-old boy whose father Rashid is the greatest storyteller in a city so sad that it has forgotten its name. When the gift of gab suddenly deserts Rashid, Haroun sets out on an adventure to rescue his print.
On February 14, 1986, Valentine’s Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been “sentenced to death” by the Ayatollah Khomeini, a voice reaching across the world from Iran to kill him in his own country. For the first time he heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses, which was accused of being “against Islam, the Prophet, and the Quran.”
So begins the extraordinary, often harrowing story—filled too with surreal and funny moments—of how a writer was forced underground, moved from house to house, an armed police protection team living with him at all times for more than nine years. He was asked to choose an alias that the police could call him by. He thought of writers he loved and combinations of their names; then it came to him: Conrad and Chekhov—Joseph Anton. He became “Joe.” …[more]
In his brilliant third novel, first published in 1983, Salman Rushdie gives us a lively and colorful mixture of history, art, language, politics, and religion. Set in a country “not quite Pakistan,” the story centers around the family of two men—one a celebrated warrior, the other a debauched playboy—engaged in a protracted duel that is played out in the political landscape of their country.